It is essential for a caregiver to be aware of any dietary restrictions that are necessary for the client. There are many diets which the caregiver may be required to learn about in order to attend to the elderly in assisted living facilities or in their own homes, these diets include: high protein diets, diabetes diets, diets low in salt for high blood pressure, diets meant to lower the cholesterol and diets that contain very low-fat foods for patients suffering from obesity.
A special diet is most often recommended by the health care provider. Depending on the diet that has been recommended for the patient, there could be multiple restrictions on various types of foods.
Here is an overview of the common diets which are commonly recommended to seniors:
Low Cholesterol Diet
A low cholesterol diet is prescribed to clients that have a high level of serum cholesterol in the blood. Elevated cholesterol is dangerous, as it can lead to clogged arteries and cardiac problems.
Low cholesterol foods that are included in the diet are whole grains, lean proteins and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fried foods are avoided through the low cholesterol diet as are many processed foods and dairy products that are high in fat.
A diet prescribed to patients that have been diagnosed as diabetic includes very little sugar and refined or processed food. In order to maintain adequate levels of blood sugar it is important to follow the diet correctly.
The caregiver must learn the specifications of the diet in order to maintain the health of the patient. Careful monitoring must often occur through the use of blood glucose meters.
Low Fat Diet
In the case that the client is obese or has been recommended to lose weight for a surgical procedure, for example – a low fat diet is prescribed. This diet often includes caloric restrictions and the client should adhere to the diet to see optimal results.
There are many ways that the client may be advised to follow a low calorie diet, including calorie restriction and soup or liquid diets which include the client fasting for up to seven days. Encouraging and motivating the client to finish the diet and reassuring that the time will pass quickly is recommended for the caregiver.
High Blood Pressure Diet
This diet encompasses meals which are low in sodium and offer the client foods that are free of MSG and foods that have been unprocessed, as these foods contain high levels of sodium and should be avoided. Diets that are created for low sodium patients include fruits and vegetables and dried beans, as well as unsalted nuts and other lean proteins.
Food that is served in restaurants as well as fast food is often very high in sodium, containing more than three times the daily recommended amount. Fast food should be avoided for clients following a diet that has been designed to promote lower blood pressure.
The knowledge of the basics of these diets is essential for care givers as it can assist to better the life and health of the patient. Developing patient nutrition is something that care givers at Hearts at Home Senior Care is passionate about and it is a task made easier with in home care.